(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2012.)
NAME: Gerard Warren
POSITION: Defensive tackle
2011 STATS: 12 games (no starts), 12 total tackles, 1 sack
INJURY STATUS: No known injuries
CHANCE OF MAKING 53-MAN ROSTER: 55%
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: Warren adds a veteran presence to the locker room, which could help get him a nod for the 53-man roster. Late last season, Warren was often active for games over Ron Brace, who could be Warren's main competition this preseason. Warren could also have the inside track to a spot if Myron Pryor does not immediately return from an injury (or continued recovery from his season-ending injury last season) that kept him out of organized team activities.
WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: Warren, who turns 34 before training camp starts, may not have much left in the tank. The Patriots also may hold off on keeping him on the roster to start the season in order to prevent his salary from becoming guaranteed (they did this in 2011). Competition at the position is weaker than at other positions, but Warren could still find himself out of a job if a young player such as undrafted free agent Marcus Forston emerges during the preseason.
CLOSEST COMPETITION: DT Ron Brace, DT Myron Pryor, DT Marcus Forston